Rolls-Royce CEO lists record sales for people dying of COVID-19

The luxury car manufacturer saw its number increase by 49 percent in 2021, and supply barely kept pace with demand

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Luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce, a unit of German BMW, said Monday that sales rose 49 percent to a record high in 2021 despite the global coronavirus pandemic as demand for luxury cars rose worldwide.

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In an online presentation, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said the automaker sold 5,586 vehicles to customers in more than 50 countries, the largest number in its 117-year history despite all the volatility caused by the pandemic.

“In the luxury sector as a whole, the battle was not so much focused on trying to find customers, but rather on producing enough products to satisfy the huge customer demand,” said Müller-Ötvös.

He said sales hit all-time records in most regions, including China and America. [When queried what may have been driving those numbers, Müller-Ötvös told the Financial Times, “Quite a lot of people witnessed people in their community dying from Covid, that makes them think life can be short, and you’d better live now than postpone it to a later date. That also has helped [Rolls-Royce sales] quite massive. “- Ed.]

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Sales of premium and luxury cars have grown more widely in key global markets such as China and the US, as pandemic travel restrictions have left wealthy consumers with more disposable income.

“COVID-19 forced many people to walk the earth, not to travel any further, and for that reason a lot of wealth has accumulated and it is being spent on luxury goods,” Müller-Ötvös told Reuters. “We profited from that development.”

He said the automaker’s UK factory in Goodwood was running close to maximum capacity and that its order books were full well into the third quarter of 2022. “If you order a Rolls-Royce today, you would expect to receive it in about a year. from now on, “he said.

2021 Bentley Bentayga S
2021 Bentley Bentayga S Photo by Bentley

The British luxury car manufacturer Bentley, a unit of Volkswagen, said last week that it had reached a record year in 2021, when global sales jumped 31 percent due to strong demand for high-end vehicles. Last week, BMW said it had achieved record sales of over 2.2 million vehicles from its BMW brand by 2021, surpassing 2019 sales despite a global shortage of semiconductor chips.

Müller-Ötvös said that although the chip shortage was a cause for concern, Rolls-Royce’s mother BMW had “assured us that we could receive all the chips we need to build our cars, so we have not seen any shortage.”

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